Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Collaborate - It's the Path to Success

Google recently released a new piece of software called "Google Wave". It hasn't received a lot of popular press attention, perhaps because it's not about social media like Facebook or Twitter - and those things are still "flavour of the year".

But in its way, it's far more powerful. Why? Because it helps people work together.

In other words, it helps you to collaborate.

You might not have noticed it, but collaboration is an important trend today - even if you're a one-person business who makes a living telling other people what to do.

For example ...

  • You can collaborate more with clients when customising a presentation to suit their needs.
  • You invite colleagues to be guest presenters for members of your membership site.
  • I'm seeing more examples of two or three experts collaborating on books, so readers get the value of their combined expertise.
  • More successful podcasts are now done as interviews or with multiple presenters, rather than just one person talking into a microphone.
  • Even audiences are expecting more collaboration during your presentation, as my friend Alicia Curtis points out.

These are not isolated examples.

The Internet makes it easier for people to collaborate. Even if those people live in different time zones, different countries, different cultures and live very different lives. They can still come together easily and effectively - certainly far easier than ever before.

Webinars.
Teleseminars.
Conference calls.
Facebook.
LinkedIn.
Skype.
On-line forums.
Google Docs.
Elance.
Ning.

These are all examples of modern tools that help people collaborate. And all are available to "normal" people without any particular technical skills.

Are YOU collaborating with others?

This is not about the tools and the technology. Sure, the tools are necessary to make the collaboration easier. But it's first about your mindset.

Are you actively seeking ways to collaborate? It really is the way of the future, so if you're not doing it, you're falling behind.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  1. Which colleagues - particularly differencemakers - can you collaborate with easily to bring more value to your clients?
  2. If you're a presenter, how can you enlist audiences in making your next presentation even more effective? (One obvious way is to survey them before your presentation. That's still effective, but what's another way?)
  3. What collaboration technology are you not using yet - but could make a significant difference if you do start using it?

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